At least 50 people were killed and others injured after gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Ondo state during mass on Sunday, according to media reports and medical sources. A doctor at a hospital in Owo said that no fewer than 50 bodies had been moved to the Federal Medical Centre in Owo and to St. Louis Catholic Hospital. President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, calling it “heinous”. The identity and motive of the attackers were not immediately clear. Channels Television reported that gunmen had fired at worshippers and detonated explosives at the church. Those killed included women and children. State police spokesperson, Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, said only that there had been an incident at the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo and the police would issue a further statement soon. Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu cut short a trip to Abuja and returned to Ondo after the attack. “We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay,” he said in a statement. In neighbouring Kogi, at least two persons were killed and many injured in an explosion that occurred during an annual festival in the Idoji area of Okene. The explosion occurred near the Idoji market on Thursday evening during the Echane festival. Media reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying one person was killed with many others sustained injuries. On Saturday, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack, alleging that 20 people were killed. State police spokesperson William Ovye-Aya confirmed the incident but said only one person was killed and several others injured. Asked to react to the claim made by ISIS, Ovye-Aya said the command is waiting for the outcome of the investigation by its anti-bomb unit. Jerry Omodara, special adviser on security to Governor Yahaya Bello said two persons had died as a result of the explosion and security experts were examining the “pattern of explosion” to see if it fit previous attacks.
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector have warned that the sector faces imminent collapse as a result of myriads of challenges. The Guardian reported that multiple players in the sector highlighted the acute foreign exchange shortage in the country as a major challenge affecting the sector. The Federal Government had, at the weekend, explained that the drop in electricity generation was a result of the partial shutdown of the Oben gas plant for the repair of critical processing equipment. It had also disclosed that the 14 reactivated independent power plants (IPP) across the country would produce off-grid electricity of 1,000 megawatts. The Punch on its part said that power had dropped below 2GW because 20 of Nigeria’s 23 power plants are currently under-performing due to lack of gas or maintenance issues. The affected plants included: Omotosho units 5 & 6, Olorunsogo units 3, 4 & 6, Omoku Units 3 & 6, Omotosho NIPP units 3 & 4, Delta units 15, 17, and 18, Afam VI units 11 & 12, Olorunsogo NIPP unit 3, Ihovbor NIPP unit 2, Sapele Steam unit 3, Sapele NIPP unit 1, Odukpani NIPP units 1 & 3, and Okpai units 11, 12 & 18, while Jebba and Shiroro, both hydro power plants, are suffering from water management issues. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), recently, appealed to the Federal Government to protect industries from collapse due to the erratic power supply in the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed banks and payment service providers (PSPs) to accept indemnity from customers for highly secured online funds transfers. The bank gave the directive in a circular posted on its website on Thursday and signed by Musa Jimoh, its director of payments system management department. According to the banking regulator, the directive is applicable on transfers amounting to ₦1 million for individual customers and ₦10 million for corporate customers. The CBN, however, set a maximum limit on the transferable amount at ₦25 million for individual customers, and ₦250 million for corporate customers. With this new directive, the indemnity implies that banks will not be held responsible for any liability that may arise from online funds transfers. In the document titled, ‘Circular on the Review of Operations of the NIBSS Instant Payments System and other Electronic Payment Options with Similar Features’, the CBN said the indemnity can be paper or electronic depending on the customer’s choice.
Mediterranean countries on major migrant routes into Europe expect over 150,000 arrivals this year as food shortages caused by the Ukraine conflict threaten a new migration wave from Africa and the Middle East. “This year the frontline member states are expected, as we have discussed between us, to receive more than 150,000 migrants,” Cyprus Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Saturday after a meeting with fellow ministers of the so-called MED5 group in Venice. Some 36,400 asylum seekers and migrants have already landed in Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Malta this year, after 123,318 arrivals in 2021, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Overall numbers, however, remain significantly below those of 2015, when over 1 million migrants reached the five countries to flee poverty and conflict across Africa and the Middle East. A shortage of wheat and other grains could affect 1.4 billion people. United Nations crisis coordinator Amin Awad said on Friday, adding more negotiations to unblock the ports in Ukraine to avoid famine and mass migration around the world. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies, while Russia is also a key fertiliser exporter and Ukraine a major supplier of corn and sunflower oil.